Emerging adulthood, according to our text, is definitely a distinct phase in the developmental process in one’s life. There are several physical, cognitive, affective, and social changes that occur during this stage. One commonly well-known physical development that takes place is the growth of the final four molars, or wisdom teeth, “signaling skeletal maturation” (Blume 2007). “With respect to brain development, another neuronal spurt occurs in emerging adulthood… which results in memory improvement” (Blume 2007). This means that emerging adults may be “uniquely ready for intellectual challenges” (Blume 2007). New problem-solving skills are developed, and the ability to resolve conflict “between competing viewpoints when there is not absolute ‘truth’ to be known” (Blume 2007). The affective and social development that takes place during emerging adulthood is the construction and consolidation of personal identity and the growth/development of deeper intimate relationships.
Among all of this research-based evidence for emerging adulthood being a distinct phase, I can also speak from my own personal experience. Being 24 years old, I am still discovering aspects of myself, and forming new, deeper, and more positive relationships with my parents, relatives, and friends. I have spent the last several years traveling to various places around the world, spending time with new people and getting out of my comfort zone. I feel this is an essential phase in one’s life, and we are not encouraged enough to embark on journeys of self-discovery and learning. As an adolescent, I was in the “foreclosed” identity stage, which is defined as “making commitments without meaningful exploration of alternatives (e.g., doing what your parents want without questioning)” (Blume 2007). I went straight from high school to college with a “clear” idea of what I wanted to do with my life. However, after being on that path for a few years, I quickly realized I was not in it for myself, but doing it for my parents. This put a strain on my relationship with my parents, and everyone else around me. It took me taking the initiative to decide my own path for myself to find a more positive and harmonious relationship with my parents. I feel like that is precisely what emerging adulthood is: a phase in one’s life where they make their own decisions and take responsibility for how they feel.
Blume, L. B., & Zembar, M. J. (2007). Middle childhood to middle adolescence. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson [Vital Source e-reader].
The new concept of emerging adulthood is the attempt in differentiating developmental stages of adolescence and adulthood from the ages of 18 years old to 25 years old (Blume & Zembar, 2007). Emerging adulthood is the time to explore and focus on one’s self, but the negative side of it is that it is also the time of uncertainty. “During emergin adulthood, most young people are going through the process of completing their transition to adulthood (Blume & Zembar, 2007). Examples of this would be parents without careers, educated singles, working singles, etc. I am not sure if the emerging adulthood should be classified as an distinctive phase. Times have changed drastically over the years. In this day and age, I believe that the generation of children, teens, and young adults have fallen into the instant gratification mode of wanting things when they want it and they want it now. I have seen the unwillingness to work, irresponsibility, and wanting to live the fast lane by partying all the time because that is what interest them instead of the reality that I need to be responsible and prepare for the next stage in my life. At the stage of being a young adult, I too was still trying to find my self and the correct path to choose, while learning from the experiences that I created through the choices that I made in making choices about my responsibilites and the pressures that came along with it.
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